Enjoy Your New Region! The US Strategy of Shifting Turkey’s Caucus in the UN Security Council in 1953


Where does Turkey geographically belong, the Middle East or Eastern Europe? This was a looming puzzle for the architects of the Cold War to solve in the early 1950s. This was so because Turkey's region would dramatically affect the composition of members in the UN Security Council. Although Turkey was elected to the Council from the Middle East region in 1950, it moved its region to Eastern Europe in 1953 to compete with Poland for the Council seat. However, the determination of where Turkey belonged was not an easy task and demanded very delicate calculations and political strategies. We argue that it was the Cold War strategies of the US that arbitrated where Turkey geographically belonged, exemplifying that regions are formed through discourse and are constantly mediated and renegotiated. This situation has created both opportunities and limitations for the Turkish policy-makers who joined the debate ex post-facto, spoke either to legitimise the US decision or to displace counter arguments.


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